St. Patrick’s Day is all about the green


WASHINGTON — The year’s biggest Irish holiday falls on a Sunday this year, but that won’t stop millions of Americans from celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in fun fashion.

According to NRF’s St. Patrick’s Day Spending Survey conducted by BIGinsight, the average person will spend $35.27 on green attire, decor for their home and office and festive food and drinks. Total spending is expected to grow to $4.7 billion.

“St. Patrick’s Day is the perfect reminder that spring is right around the corner, and given the type of winter many Americans have had, it’s safe to say consumers are ready to shake off their winter blues with a little green,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.

“With Easter falling only two short weeks behind St. Patrick’s Day this year, many retailers have already lined their shelves with baskets, candy and bright-colored apparel. Budget-conscious shoppers will look for promotions ahead of time hoping to kill two birds with one stone, shopping for Easter gifts while picking out shamrock-themed decorations.”

The survey found eight in 10 (84.2 percent) will celebrate by wearing green, hoping to avoid the traditional pinches that come to those who neglect to dress the part.

An additional 23.3 percent will decorate their home or office, and 34.6 percent will make a special dinner.


As a non gift-giving holiday, many consumers simply want to let loose and have fun with their friends and family at a private party or out at their favorite local restaurant or bar. According to the survey, 19.5 percent of consumers who plan to celebrate this year will attend a private party, and 27.4 percent will attend a party at a bar or restaurant. 

“There’s no question that this holiday resonates most with younger adults, but even mom and dad will get in the spirit this year by making special plans for a night in, or visit with friends and neighbors for the afternoon,” said BIGinsight Consumer Insights Director Pam Goodfellow. “For many, sticking to a budget will mean weighing their needs and wants and even looking around the house for fun, festive items they can reuse like green beads, Irish-themed pins and buttons and home decor items.”


Young adults 18-24 may be the age group planning the most celebrations (77.3 percent), but 35-44 year olds will be the ones spending the most at an average of $41.68; close behind are adults 25-34 who will spend an average of $41.58.


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